The First Detailed Sea Chart of the Eastern Colombian Coastline
Extremely rare early sea chart by Arent Roggeveen, showing the coast of Colombia from Santa Marta to Cartagena, centered on Baranquilla.
The chart is oriented with south at the top.
Roggeveen's chart is the first detailed sea chart of this region. Earlier sea charts, such as Van Keulen's chart, covered substantially larger regions and with far less details.
Arent Roggeveen was a land surveyor, mathematician, poet and teacher of navigation. Born in Delfshaven, he later moved to Middelburg where both the Dutch East and West India Companies were based. He was employed by both companies as a teacher in the art of navigation. He also helped maintain their collections of hydrographic manuscripts and charts, including Spanish portulanos of the West Indies. In the mid-1660s, Roggeveen compiled a series of large scale charts of the North American coast line, West Indies and later, West Africa. His Het Brandende Veen or The Burning Fen represented a landmark in the coastal charting of North America, with a number of regions mapped in larger scale than in any previously printed work. Roggeveen arranged for Pieter Goos, one of the leading engravers and publishers of maritime books in Amsterdam to publish the collection. The completed work was the first Dutch pilot that was focused on select areas of the American coastline. Previously, all printed maps and charts that dealt with this coastline were on a much larger scale.
Roggeveen died in 1679. Goos' widow sold the plates to Jacob Robijn, who reissued the maps with his name added to the title, but otherwise unchanged, in 1680. Both examples of the map are extremely rare. The atlases were undoubtedly published in limited quantity. Working sea charts and pilots from the 17th century are inherently rare due to the nature of their use aboard ships. The vast majority of them were either destroyed by use or destroyed intentionally when new updated versions were obtained.
The chart is quite rare on the market. This is only the second example we have had in more than 20 years.